Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Big East 2010-Rutgers Scarlet Knights
2009 Record: 9-4 (3-4)
Head Coach: Greg Schiano (10th season, 55-55)
Offensive Coordinator: Kirk Ciarrocca (2nd season) and Kyle Flood (2nd season)
Defensive Coordinator: Bob Fraser (2nd season) and Ed Pinkham (2nd season)
2009 Bowl Game: St. Petersburg Bowl, Defeated Central Florida 45-24
Offense: With only three seniors returning, expect youth to carry the day at Rutgers on offense. One of their solid young players is QB Tom Savage. Savage, a sophomore, passed for 2211 yards and 14 TDs. A lot of people around the country are all fired up about those numbers, but I find them to be a little pedestrian. Same said for RB Joe Martinek and his main backup Rocket Williams. Savage can be expected to put up better numbers in 2010, and has the size and skills to become an NFL QB in a couple of seasons. Mohamed Sanu, another sophomore, should be Savage's main target at wideout. Sanu scored by reception, rush, and pass last season. Senior Julian Hayes should line up at the other WR spot. Art Forst and Howard Barbieri both return at OG, but Forst may be moved to tackle. Expect Antwan Lowery to get a shot at the other tackle spot, but he is coming over from playing defense. Expect a learning curve.
Defense: The defense led the Big East in total defense last season, and ranked 4th nationally in sacks. DE Alex Silvestro is very active and is always in the backfield. DT Scott Vallone was a freshman AA in 2009, and so the front line, with three returning starters (DT Charlie Noonan is the other) should have some solid chemistry. The LB corps is going to be a bit of a weak link, but Antonio Lowery does have starting experience and had 55 tackles in 2009. SS Joe Lefeged returns, as does CB David Rowe, but the starters are new.
Special Teams: Both kickers return from a year ago in San San Te (PK) and P Teddy Dellaganna. Both are solid returns, but neither is spectacular at this time.
Wins: 9/2 Norfolk State, 9/11 @ Florida International, 10/2 Tulane, 10/16 Army, 11/3 @ South Florida, 11/13 Syracuse, 11/26 Louisville
Toss Up Games: 9/25 North Carolina, 10/8 UConn,
Losses: 10/23 @ Pittsburgh, 11/20 @ Cincinnati, 12/4 @ West Virginia
The early schedule is a joke, but pay back is a bitch. Pitt, Cincinnati,and WVU all come on the road in the second half of the season. That's brutal. 7 wins looks like a cinch, but the conference could beat up on the Knights...again.
Outlook: There is a bunch of youth on this football teams at some key positions. The good news is that the young Knights will grow up together. The bad news is that they don't have the experience to pull off the huge wins against more veteran teams. I still see some modicum of success being had in 2010. A bowl game should be very reachable.